The assistant principal of Woodlands High School in Hartsdale was recently charged with second-degree larceny. According to prosecutors, he allegedly stole more than $770,000 from the Greenburgh Teacher's Welfare Fund and the Greenburgh Teacher's Federation, which receives taxpayer money to pay for legal, health and other services for school district teachers and administrators. In their complaint, the district attorney's office accused the assistant principal of stealing the funds over a seven-year period from 2006 to 2013, during which he served as union treasurer. The alleged theft was discovered after his promotion to assistant principal and resignation from his role as treasurer.
The assistant principal allegedly made the checks out to himself and his two daughters using the funds for personal expenses including paying property tax on two homes he owned. According to prosecutors, the checks were written from both accounts using the forged signature of the union president in order to release the funds. He was charged with grand larceny in the second-degree, and bail was set at $50,000.
Larceny is defined in the New York Penal Code as the unauthorized transfer or theft of property, including money, from its legal owner to another. Grand larceny in the second-degree is a class C felony and punishable by five to 15 years in prison. However, first-time offenders are not subject to mandatory minimum sentences, and punishment can range from no incarceration or a split between probation and jail time.
Consultation with an attorney is an important part of addressing such charges, particularly when they involve serious consequences. An accusation or an arrest still faces the burden of proof. A criminal defense attorney can negotiate a plea agreement that may lower the charges as well as the sentence and monetary penalties.
Source: nycourts.gov, "Grand Larceny of a Specified Amount," July 27, 2009
Source: NBC New York, "High School Principal Accused of Stealing Nearly $800,000 From Teachers Union", January 09, 2014